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Everything posted by Amicus717

  1. May is turning into an expensive month. I blame Larry, of course...:)
  2. Among the many things I like about Albion ONE: they have the best string ensemble spiccato and staccato articulations in the business, to my ears. The velocity layer calibration is just right, and there is not a hint of the machine-gun effect, and it all sounds really wonderful. You can go from light and agile, to punchy and authoritative, and it always sounds natural.
  3. I moved to Cubase when Cakewalk went down, and like Matt I don't regret it at all - mainly because the midi tools are the best I've used, period. Sonar's midi tools were fine, and I had no trouble using them when I was doing midi work in Sonar (I still fire up Cakewalk for audio work, as I prefer it's overall GUI for audio stuff), but Cubase' tools are top class. I find them intuitive, fast and comprehensive. I think their midi tools are among the best in the business. Combine CbB's audio tools, GUI, and ProChannel with Cubase' midi implementation, and you've have the best DAW ever, IMO.
  4. Available here: https://8dio.com/instrument-category/8dio-instruments-on-sale-vst-au-aax-kontakt-instrument-samples/
  5. Terrible, terrible news, Larry.
  6. I generally agree with Hidden Symmetry, and I do think Albion ONE at 50% off is a killer deal. I listed my dislikes of Albion ONE because I'm very self-conscious about recommending libraries without trying to give as balanced a view as possible. Everyone can be so different when it comes to what works and what doesn't. I've read reviews and reactions from folks who love Albion ONE; and I've reviews from folks who think it's a major disappointment and barely useable. I'm in the former, but I'd feel bad if you turned out to be in the latter after spending $250 bucks on it What I like most about Albion ONE is it that you can use it to build meticulous mock-ups with lots of complex programming, or you can use it to make quick and dirty, two patch sketches that still sound great. The VSL stuff I find to be more focused on detailed work and realistic classical orchestration, and they way they break-out their patches and articulations seems geared towards this. My template also has both Spitfire and VSL stuff (especially the latter's woodwinds and brass, which I am really liking). The combo works well for me, but I have to admit that I am very, very divided on the VSL stuff. They do have a lot to offer, and although the overall packages are expensive, they do offer some flexibility because their products are so moduler - you can buy what you need, as opposed to buying whole sections or bundles, and sometimes that is actually reasonably cost effective. Also, their sample players (including the Vienna player and the Synchron player) are really configurable and you can tailor them to suit any working style and template setup On the downside, their copy protection scheme requires a Steinberg E-licenser or Vienna Key (their stuff is not iLok compatible) and their policies regarding dongle failure or loss are draconian. Basically, if your dongle dies (and you haven't bought into their insurance plan) you have to send the broken key to them, and you lose your licenses and can only get them back for a $20 fee for each license. If you lose your key or it is stolen, you have to buy back your licenses at half the original cost (they refer to this as "meeting you halfway" in regards to recovering your instruments). Even for myself, with a modest selection of their SE starter libraries and few extra Standard libraries, that would be prohibitively expensive. But for someone who is deep into the VSL ecosystem, it would be a disaster. I reluctantly decided that I needed to buy into their Protection Plan, simply because I use their stuff a lot and cannot afford to replace my modest libraries if my e-licenser goes down, so the $90 fee for two years of protection makes sense. But it bugs me rather a lot that I need to do this. They already have my money, but now I need to send them more - just in case a random lightning strike takes out my USB hub. It makes me really hesitant to keep adding to my VSL collection, even though I like their stuff. Personally, I'd guess that you may find Albion ONE to be what you are looking for. But as always, YMMV. Rob
  7. Available through May 14th: https://performancesamples.com/oceania/ Rob
  8. Well, it is worth noting that Albion ONE has weakness, too. These are just my 5 cents worth, but for the sake of perspective: 1) I really don't much like the brass patches in Albion ONE and almost never use them. There are some nice bits and pieces here and there, but overall the brass is rather synthy and never struck me as overly detailed or realistic. This is particularly true of the high brass, which is quite unconvincing to my ears. The mid brass is okay, and mid brass legato patch has a nice vibe to it, but the note range is more restricted than I'd like. 2) The strings are really nice, beautifully recorded onto 2" tape, and then converted to digital. So they have a real gloss to their sound. But they offer one specific kind of sound, and so if you are looking to summon a more intimate vibe, or work with divisi stuff or similar, you won't have much luck with Albion ONE. Basically, there is an Albion sound that is very particular to this library, and beyond changing the mic mix (which has limited effect, in my experience) you're stuck with that sound. I don't mind, as it suits me perfectly, but others might feel different about it. Also, the vibrato is not overly...vibrato-ish. Applying vibrato does make a difference, and it's quite nice -- but its more of an additional layer of texture added over the string than a real sense of the players applying deliberate vibrato. It works, but I find it has to be used judiciously, or the strings start to sound a bit synthy. 3) The Albion ONE string legato patches are very subdued in terms of legato transitions. The transitions are there, but not nearly as dramatic or swoopy as others, and there is no portamento. They also don't break the legatos out by individual sections (violins, cello, etc), but are broken out as simply Strings High, Mid and Low, and they use a lot of stacked octaves and similar. They work fine, but if you want more flexibility and tonal options, these are not the patches you want to use. 4) The Darwin Percussion patches have some nice sounds, but I have always found them hard to use, as the calibration between velocity layers is rather twitchy and abrupt. The sounds are big and boomy and resonant (except the high sticks), and all the percussion patches are really of one flavour: big, intense movie trailer thunder. Which is fine and useful, but limited in range. I'm not really into that sort of Zimmer-esque tribal, storm-drum routine, so aside from the Easter Island hits (which are deeep, thrumming booms that I often employ on transitions), I don't fire up the Darwin Percussion all that much, as I prefer to use more classical percussion. 5) In all honesty, I never use the Brunel Loops, and likely never will. They are fine, and when I've poked around that section of Albion ONE I have found some fun sounds and useful loops. But that kind of music is not where my current interests lie, so the Brunel Loops are not a huge factor to me. Basically, I like Albion ONE a lot because certain parts of it are perfectly suited to my tastes and the kind of music I want to do, and so they have become central to my working template. But other parts are not and don't see any significant use. It's clearly a well made and professional product with real polish, and it works as advertised. And even the weaker parts of the library can be coaxed into producing great music, judging by the demos on the Spitfire site. They do sound amazing, and I have no doubt that with proper care its possible to evoke all that from Albion ONE. But it won't be for everyone, and how much use you get out of Albion ONE will depend on how much it's baked in sound and overall patch design suits your tastes and working style. I figured I should mention all this, as it is always nice to know as much as possible about a product - both good and bad - before spending a few hundred bucks on it. It would be great if companies made demo versions of their big libraries available to try, as I hate dropping money on a library that sounds great in theory but doesn't turn out to be what I was looking for. I'm pretty sure we've all had that experience. Rob
  9. It's intended as a complete toolkit for cinematic scoring, sort of a one-stop shop for all your cinematic orchestral and hybrid scoring needs. To that end it has: a) full set of strings, woodwinds and brass articulations, including some legato articulations and fx. Most of the patches are combination patches (woodwinds in octaves, strings and woods together, etc), or full ensemble patches with a few specific legato sections. There are no solo sections. I don't find the Albion orchestra patches to be as granular as others (Hollywood Strings, for example), but offers a set of commonly used textures and flavors often found in orchestral and cinematic scoring. They sound great, and I use them a lot for my own stuff. They have a fair amount of baked in ambiance, and generally are designed to sound pretty big and epic. b) cinematic percussion (toms, big hits, metal hits, etc). There is only a limited amount of 'traditional' orchestral percussion (some cymbals, etc), but no timps, and a cinematic piano patch which I use mostly for low end texturing. c) Stephensen's Steam Band is a collection of patches based on the orchestral and synth samples, and are run through their eDNA synth engine, and basically turned into a big set of hybrid synth patches. Most have a pretty huge sound, and are configurable (with gates and sequencing, etc) d) Brunel Loops - set of prerecorded loops that can be mangled and twisted for whatever use you want. It's all really nicely recorded and put together, and it is hands down one of my fav libraries. I don't use the whole thing -- my current template makes heavy use of the ensemble string patches and some of the big percussion hits. I use other libraries for solo instruments, string legatos and brass. But you can do a lot with just Albion ONE, and there is more than enough stuff to create a full piece of orchestral/hybrid scoring just within this one library. It's really great. YMMV, of course, as with all libraries like this. But I consider Albion ONE to be a desert island purchase.
  10. Love this library, it is one of my gotos. Half price is a pretty fine deal.
  11. Drums Of War - reg € 99 now only € 69 Drums Of War 2 - reg € 149 now only € 109 Drums Of War Bundle - reg € 199 now only € 139 Available here: https://www.bestservice.com/deals/cinesamples_drums_of_war_flash_sale.html
  12. Available here: https://8dio.com/instrument/aura-guitars-for-kontakt-vst-au-aax/
  13. I'm not a huge fan of loader/install programs, either, although I will admit the Spitfire one is pretty painless and seems to work pretty well. I've had no issues with it. FWIW.
  14. Available here: https://projectsam.com/library-category/the-free-orchestra/
  15. I have it. It's okayish. Not my first choice, but it gets a bit of use. Update: Just realized the deal is for the bundle. I only have Drums of the Deep I. Just FYI.
  16. Does anyone have either (or both) of the Orchestral Essentials? Curious what you think, and which you prefer...
  17. Amicus717


    You must be watching a bit of TV this week...Avs are bringing it...
  18. Can't believe nobody has mentioned Justin Bieber yet.
  19. After listening to Shatner Claus, I really have no choice but to agree... https://www.stereogum.com/2023988/william-shatner-rudolph-the-red-nosed-reindeer-zz-top-billy-gibbons-video/video/
  20. Did you also know that we have a Maple Syrup strategic reserve? I'm not even kidding. We do. And a few years ago, it was robbed: https://www.theatlantic.com/business/archive/2012/09/why-does-canada-have-a-strategic-maple-syrup-reserve/261869/
  21. It struck me as a blunt-force instrument with a pretty limited scope. Tapsa's take makes a lot of sense to me, especially within that context. Anyway, I picked up Loegria also (and am really liking it), so that's my purchase for the month.
  22. I have heard very mixed things about this library. Anyone have it? I hardly need it, but I'm curious anyway...
  23. As I see it, people don't always appreciate what they have until it almost gets destroyed right in front of their faces. I can think of about a half-million examples of that on a daily basis, in fact...
  24. I'd talk to the current ringer, first. He's got some pull with the church.
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